Shawn Christensen is a real talent. However, what worked for a short film can't help but feel stretched in feature form. A sentimental family coming of age version of "After Hours" with a two-dimensional portrayal of both the upper class and underground drug scene. Dream-like sequences are thrown in but never add or make you feel. Still a talent to watch.
This is a perfect example of a film that worked better as a short than a feature. It adds a needless drug dealer/murder sub plot that completely takes away from the films main focus. The original short focused on an uncle and his niece learning to bond with one another, I was hoping the feature would provide more of this but I was sadly disappointed.
A strong first act, in which the main character was greeted, then depleted would have made all the difference for this movie full of brilliant ideas. Instead, everything comes off in a wash of insincerety due to a lack of depth in exchange for a lighter tone. The writing seems flimsy and jeuvenille, when it's actually quite good in places. Hope this doesn't squash Mr. Christensen's shot at a real second chance... ...
You know the wonderful thing about you, Richie? It’s that death isn’t just a destination for you. It’s a part of you. It lives in you. It’s woven into the fabric of your soul. There’s nothing you could do but embrace the fact that every day of your life ought to be your last.
This film is a very interesting one on a number of levels, beginning with the fact that the lead actor is also the writer/director (not something you find often, let alone Woody Allen, etc.) and the relationship between Richie and Sophia. I love the genuine connection both as actors and as characters, and that alone helps to propel this movie to great heights. Yes, deals with suicide, but very tastefully. Well done.
While the short had an almost menacing confidence, this was light as smoke and it didn't even blot its presence. The only addition that is actually worth the while is Vista's storyline, Richie's either dead or recently disappeared beloved girlfriend which first leads him to suicide. The film's final frame is worth a thousand words, but as soon as the end credits rolled, I felt the film rapidly vanishing from my mind.